Robots are a staple of most science fiction movies and books. They come in all forms and sizes some created to destroy and some created to feel. Here are 10 of the best robot movies of all time.
Top 10 Best Robot Movies of All Time
The Iron Giant (1999)
Fellow 90’s kids have probably watched (and cried too) this film more time than they can count.
An adaptation of a children’s book by British author Ted Hughes, The Iron Giant (1999) is the story of a boy who becomes friends with a giant robot from space.
Before it was a beloved cult classic, the film was often overshadowed by director Brad Bird’s other bigger productions. Good thing it’s now appreciated by fans for what it is– a simple but heartwarming testament to heroism.
The Stepford Wives (1975)
Spoiler alert: the wives are turned into robots. We couldn’t justify including this film on the list of best robot movies without giving away this crucial detail of the film’s plot.
Based on a satiric science fiction novel by Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives (1975) follows the events surrounding an ‘ideal’ but strange suburban community called Stepford where successful career women go and become traditional housewives.
The original film the HBO series is based on, Westworld (1973) introduced the world to director Michael Crichton’s futuristic ‘Disneyland for adults’ resort where the rich can live out their wildest fantasies.
The resort is filled with highly realistic human robots. Everything is well and dandy until all the real human staff of the resort die and the robot employees decide to take over. While it its visuals didn’t age well, the film’s premise remains to be one of its most interesting aspects as proven by the existence of its modern remake. Westworld is one of the 70’s best robot films.
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) was Stanley Kubrick’s long-awaited project left unfinished by his untimely death. Steven Spielberg takes over it, as Kubrick reportedly intended, and directs child star Haley Joel Osment as a robot boy programmed t have human emotions who sets out to become a ‘real boy’ when he is left by his adoptive parents.
While fans still debate whether Spielberg did justice to Kubrick’s idea, there is no doubt that the film is a visionary piece of science fiction that effectively delves into what it means to be human.
Paul Verhoeven strikes the perfect balance of action, humor and violence in RoboCop (1987). Set in future Detroit, the film follows a dead police officer resurrected to become a robot in which the main purpose is to fight crime. All is well until he gets snippets of his past and decides to deviate from his crime-fighting mission to find his killers and avenge his death.
RoboCop is praised by critics for going further than its silly premise to present a cutting satire of the practices of big businesses and become one of the sci-fi genre’s most beloved robot movie of all time.
The Matrix (1999)
The film that introduced the world to the Wachowskis cyberpunk aesthetics and affinity with martial arts, The Matrix (1999) is about a time when humans are used as batteries to power giant robots while their consciousness is trapped in a virtual reality simulation.
With the mixture of this interesting premise and the Wachowskis flair for bullet time cameras and refreshing vision of a future world, the film remains popular among fans who, after 20 years, are still coming up with new theories to explain the film’s plot.
Blade Runner (1982)
Once in a while, the science fiction genre is hit by intriguing, original works that revitalize the genre for the better. This is exactly what Ridley Scott’s neo-noir sci-fi film did upon its release in 1982.
A film ahead of its time, it still manages to intrigue viewers more than 30 years after its release. Case in point, the film got a much-awaited sequel Blade Runner 2049 which was released in 2017.
But what is it about the original film that made it endure over the years? Is it the existence of over seven unique cuts of the film? Maybe. Imagine getting to a point of clarity and then being hit with another version of the film to speculate on.
While the film doesn’t feature the familiar metallic robots we see in sci-fi movies, it does have biomechanically engineered robots so we’re still ranking it on our best robot movies list.
Some people will disagree, but we think Wall-E (2008) is the best film Pixar made ever (well at least before they were acquired by Disney, that is).
The film tells the story of a lone robot left behind on Earth after humanity migrated to another planet. Its loneliness is alleviated by the coming of a female robot which would inject the film with romantic undertones. According to director Andrew Stanton, “I just thought that was the saddest character I had ever heard of, and I just loved that”.
What they end up making is an offbeat yet poignant love story about two mismatched robots who meet on a future barren earth after humanity left it.
Metropolis (1927) can be considered the father of the science fiction film genre. Much of the genre’s style and conventions owe their origins from this seminal and often forgotten film.
Inspired by the popularity of the German Expressionism art style that dominated European films at the time, the film is one of the first movies to have envisioned and shown a futuristic world on film. The film follows a scientist who creates a robot version of his deceased wife. Kind of like a less twisted version of Frankenstein.
The film is notable for its visuals and special effects which were considered to be well ahead of its time. However, it’s unfortunate that the film has no existing complete copy today. But if you’re interested to watch it, you may find a restored version which has 95% of the original film.
The Terminator (1984)
You aren’t surprised this film topped our list of best movies about robot, huh?
The Terminator (1984) is the film that started the robot movie franchise. Here Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the titular terminator a powerful cyborg sent back from the future to kill Sarah Connor who will mother a future leader.
Although working on a rather silly premise and some subpar performances, James Cameron managed to make an excellent action film that audiences quote to this day. The Terminator is considered to be one of the best robot movies of all time.
What’s your favorite robot movie and why? Did it make it to our best robot movies list? Tell us in the comments below!